April 3, 2009

OUR LITTLE BIBI IS ALL GROWN UP:

Only Obama can save Iran from Israeli bombs: Tehran's growing nuclear capability mixed with the Netanyahu Cabinet's military experience. It could be a lethal cocktail (Richard Beeston, 4/03/09, Times of London)

An Israeli colleague was sent on an assignment so secret and sensitive that it was years before he would share the full story with friends.

He was dispatched by Menachem Begin, then the Prime Minister, to European capitals with orders to meet editors, politicians and opinion makers to spread the word that Israel was increasingly concerned about Iraq's nuclear programme and would do anything to stop Saddam Hussein building the bomb. The warnings, intended to prepare Western public opinion, were largely dismissed as sabre-rattling (one editor insisted on discussing a new lavatory system designed on a kibbutz) - until June 1981, when Israeli Air Force F16s bombed the plant to rubble.

A few days ago a chill went down my spine when an articulate and intelligent senior Israeli official made exactly the same argument about Iran's nuclear programme at a briefing in London. He described an Iranian nuclear weapon as an existential threat to the Jewish state, which would defend itself whatever the consequences. These warnings are not new but the political and military circumstances are conspiring to make an Israeli attack on Iran a probability, unless the Middle East experiences dramatic changes in the coming weeks and months.


The last time he was PM, Bibi Netanyahu was quite overwhelmed by Bill Clinton, who essentially sided with Yassir Arafat against him and Israel. He appears to be determined to dictate terms to this president.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 3, 2009 5:43 AM
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